Overcoming Nerves As a Speaker
Date: September 12, 2015
It was Mark Twain who so blatantly explained the two types of public speakers: the ones who get nervous and the ones who lie about getting nervous. Most people, no matter how experienced they are as a speaker, get a bit nervous before their presentation.
Here are a few tips on how you too can control those nerves.
Make Sure You Are Well Hydrated
Cotton mouth is the condition you get from a dry mouth and white lips when you are anxious. It happens to many newbies as they venture into public speaking. Somehow it doesn’t matter how prepared you are, 15 minutes into the speech, you start struggling with your sentences and the stress piles up more.
A great way to tackle nerves is to stay well hydrated by drinking a little water before you give your presentation (not too much or you will need to pay a visit to the rest room half way through). It is also really important that you make sure you have a glass of water with you during your talk, so you have it to hand if you need it.
Do You Know How To Calm Down?
Exercise in your life in general is good for you as it tends to calm you down and help you think straight in your everyday life. Working out releases endorphins, which make you feel happy and healthy.
Exercise helps to calm you as it releases the anxiety that can come from giving a presentation. Next time you have a speaking session coming up, have a good workout planned earlier on the same day. Don’t push yourself so hard that your muscles ache but get your blood pumping. Exercise helps you think. It clears your mind and allows you time to visualise how great your speaking engagement is going to be.
A good workout can also distract you from whatever is bothering you in your head and helps you feel way more confident.
Visualise Before You Speak
People who speak regularly use the visualisation technique all the time.
Some public speakers do not feel nervous until just before it is their turn to speak, so that means you need a last minute anti-nerve fix. Remember to take deep breaths and visualise. Visualisation can be anything from imagining the crowd applauding you to picturing no one in the room.
Everyone has their own calming visualisation that works for them. Work on creating your own visuals in your head so you’re prepared next time you need to utilise them.
Everyone has their own calming visualisation that works for them.
Embrace the Occasion
Nervous energy is not a negative vibe; in fact, it is the good stress product of adrenaline and excitement that causes it.
This sharpens your senses and makes you extra aware of what is going on around you. Use this burst of energy to engage your audience and show them your talent. The trick is to not be afraid of fear but to embrace it and use it to your advantage. If you think that you have way too much energy, then pace around the stage, keep the audience hooked and just make sure you are not moving back and forth like a caged animal.
Prepare, prepare and once you think you are preparedm then prepare some more. Confidence comes from knowing you have everything in your had and at your fingertips. The more you know your topic, the less nervous you will be. So don’t leave it all to the last minute to research and write a speech. Have your talk or presentation organised in your head well in advance of the actual date of the event.
When you know that you are prepared, there is no fear of ‘what ifs’, and therefore, the nervousness dies down along with the fear.
Take The Slip Ups As An Opportunity To Change
Every time you think you have made a slip, simply use that to change your stance or ask a question from the audience. Remember that the audience does not know what you were about to say or what is in your notes, so any slip ups you might make will probably go unnoticed (unless you make it obvious with your body language or actions). Just carry on as if you meant to say it.